Thursday, September 11, 2014

Out of the Blue by S.L. Rottman

Stuart Ballantyne is used to moving.  His mother is a colonel in the Air Force, and as the story begins, she's about to take command of the Minot, North Dakota base.  Stuart might be used to moving to follow his mother's career, but this time it's just him and his mom after his brother departs for college and his father has to travel to deal with Stuart's grandmother's health issues. 

What attracted me to Out of the Blue is what it delivered, a different perspective.  I'd never read a story set on a military base, and I was interested to read more about the military families' different way of life.  Stuart, who's practically a pro at being a military migrant of sorts, is a good window onto the scene.  Rottman does an excellent job of portraying the ceremony and pride of country that go along with the setting, and also, the reluctance to meddle in the business of other military families despite their close quarters.

Stuart is a good, if confused and lonely, kid knocked off balance by facing this move alone and dealing with situations beyond his years without the safety net of his father and brother while his mother is off dealing with base business. He's a sympathetic but occasionally bland narrator.  Rottman's story offers an interesting perspective that doesn't seem to crop up in a lot of YA novels and a believable coming-of-age story to boot, but it's plagued by an unfortunate lack of memorability.  Worth a read, but not extraordinary.

(Review copy received from the publisher via NetGalley.)

1 comment:

  1. My dad was in the Navy but retired when I was 7 so I didn't experience too much of the nomadic life. Still, I like that this story is told from the perspective of the kid.